University of Arizona (UA) students are taking it upon themselves to help other students understand that adopting a dog or cat is a long-term commitment, according to an  article  by the Arizona Daily Star .

They've started  AdvoCATS , a club approved in September, with the goal of teaching UA students about the realities of owning a pet - the financial commitment it takes for food and vet bills, the time and attention a pet requires and the complications that arise when the student wants to go on a semester abroad, go home for the semester or even take a trip during spring break.

Animal-welfare advocates say they see a climbing number of abandonments and pets dropped at shelters at the end of the spring semester, when most students go home for the summer or realize it's more difficult to find a new apartment that accepts pets.

AdvoCATS plans to set up an e-mail listserv, give out information and put together programs in dorms on campus to reach students.